Dear snowy reader,
Today I am excited to announce that The Snow Child is now available in paperback here in the United States. It’s being shipped this week, and I’m already hearing reports of its landing in bookstores around the country.
Those of you in the UK or Australia or New Zealand might be baffled. The paperback was published there in August, but each publisher sets its own schedule.
So here in Palmer, Alaska, we’re celebrating. I’ll be at Fireside Books on Saturday to sign copies from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. And I might have a glass of bubbly and a snowflake cookie.
It has been a remarkable journey. This past year since The Snow Child was published in hardcover has been full of surprises. There was a five-week world tour, reviews and award nominations. I received word that The Snow Child was shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, which means a trip to New York City for the awards dinner in December.
I will also be returning to London this December for some book events and other excitement. I’ll share more details soon.
The Snow Child has been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award, determined by readers. You can cast your vote here.
And there are more surprises coming up this winter in Alaska that I will write about as soon as I can.
I did have one disappointment, though. The world tour meant that I missed autumn, my favorite season in Alaska. I wasn’t able to pick wild blueberries on the tundra, and our family wasn’t able to go on our annual caribou or moose hunt.
But last week my husband Sam and I had a rare gift — he and I spent a quiet day hunting for caribou north of our home. The sun was sparkling off the snow. We saw grizzly bear tracks, caribou too far away to shoot, a curious coyote. It was the kind of spectacular Alaska day that keeps me grounded even as I enjoy the whirlwind of The Snow Child.
And thanks to Sam, our family gratefully worked all weekend butchering and packaging meat from the caribou he got on another trip. We’ve also managed to get the firewood split and stacked, so with a well-filled freezer and a warm fire, we are feeling quite content.
I hope you are, too.
Hello from Alaska! After five weeks circling the globe, I am so very glad to be back. My first morning, I was welcomed with snow. It has since melted and we are now enjoying an unseasonably warm autumn. The leaves are gone from the trees, the fireweed blooms have turned to feathery fluff, and the tall grass is golden.
I missed so much about this place: crisp Alaskan air, spruce trees, mountains in all directions, friendly greetings from neighbors at the post office and grocery store, caribou steak and new potatoes, rhubarb cordial, a birch fire in the woodstove, family close by, and the complete silence and darkness of nightfall.
This weekend I head out again, but this time to a kind of second home — the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association trade show , this year in Tacoma, Washington. Sunday morning I’ll be speaking at a breakfast event along with authors Jon Klassen, Karen Cushman, and Sherman Alexie.
I look forward to visiting with you bookseller friends out there.
Bonjour La Ville-Lumière! And Paris truly is the city of lights. Thanks to my French editor Deborah and her kind husband, we got a driving tour of Paris at night. The Eiffel Tower sparkling into the heavens. Notre Dame, the Seine, Champs-Élysées, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, skyscrapers and lush parks — all aglow in the city. It was a truly magical evening.
And my amazement has continued. The Louvre, Versailles, corner cafes, the cinema museum, pain au chocolate, street markets, bookstores, designer clothing stores … we have traveled by automobile, metro, train, and foot and still have only seen a tiny portion of all this city has to offer.
But as a writer, I found the most unexpected, delightful surprise when I walked into the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore, an English language literary haven on Paris’ left bank. There among the stacks of books for sale was The Snow Child!
During the Festival America here in France, fellow American novelist Hector Tobar expressed it so well — with the long, celebrated history of literature here in France, it is truly an honor to be published here.
Merci beaucoup to the French translator Isabelle Chapman, the many people with the publisher Fleuve Noir and the French readers, bloggers and journalists who have welcomed The Snow Child to France.
A votre santé!
Sadly my world travels are not carrying me to Germany. So for now I will have to content myself with the knowledge that at least Faina gets to visit. The Snow Child, otherwise known as Das Schneemädchen, appears in bookstores there today. I hope German readers enjoy my story.
Bonjour mes amis! We have arrived in Vincennes, France, on the outskirts of Paris. During the next few days, I’ll be participating in the Festival America, including several panels and workshops. But for now, I’ve been taking in the sights, sounds … and delicious food … of France.
I just had a lovely lunch with Deborah and Alexandra with my French publisher, Fleuve Noir. Fortunately they both speak English beautifully, so we were able to talk about, well, books!
Earlier today, my family and I visited nearby Vincennes Castle, where I took the postcard photo. What a fascinating history! It was built in the 1300s and has housed monarchs such as Charles V and prisoners such as the Marquis de Sade.
Last night, Grace and I ate our first escargot. I’m sure all that butter and garlic didn’t hurt, but we thought they were “très délicieux!”
Here we are under the ferocious gaze of a Trafalgar lion! Our first day in London, and we’ve already had a marvelous time — a lovely brunch with publishing friends including a photo shoot at Platform 9 3/4 (for fellow Potter fans out there), a double-decker bus ride to Trafalgar Square, shopping on Regent Street, and afternoon tea at the National Gallery.
Tomorrow promises to be equally exciting — breakfast with independent booksellers, an 11 a.m. book signing at Waterstones Worcester, and a 7 p.m. signing, with cocktails and live music, at Waterstones Kensington. Hope to see some of you along the way.
Greetings from the lush shores of New Zealand! I have just one complaint — my visit here is much too short. When I told the gentleman at customs that I would be here less than two days, he looked at me as if I were crazy.
And you would have to be crazy to leave these brilliantly blue skies, gentle ocean breezes, charming people, and delicious sauvignon blancs. But I only have 36 hours, so I’m making the best of it.
Yesterday I met the Michael King Book Group at a local cafe and we talked about bookshops and novels and book clubs. Then we walked across the street to the Takapuna Library where Helen Woodhouse graciously introduced me to readers. I shared some stories from my life as a writer in Alaska, and they recommended some New Zealand novels that I am anxious to read.
Later I met people from Hachette, my publisher here and in the UK, for dinner at a lovely restaurant. We ate and laughed and talked books and laughed some more. I realized these kiwis would fit in perfectly at our neighborhood parties in Alaska. My cheeks still hurt from all the laughter.
Today I am talking with New Zealand media, including National Radio, local newspapers, and Stuff website. This afternoon: I get to visit a bookstore. Then, before the day is done, I hop on a plane for London.
Hello from beautiful Australia! My family and I have had a few days of relaxing along the Sunshine Coast. Sam tried surfing for the first time, and I think found it less frightening than driving from the opposite side of the car, on the opposite side of the road, through roundabouts that go the opposite direction.
We’ve had some lovely moments — spotting a wild koala in a tree and collecting seashells along the beach. We faced giant spiders and hungry ibis birds, and we walked through heavily scented eucalyptus trees.
Along the way, we received some exciting news– The Snow Child in paperback has debuted at #10 on the UK bestseller list.
But in the midst of all this, we also had some sad news. We learned that a longtime friend in our hometown passed away from cancer. She was one of the most outgoing, kind, upbeat people I have known, and anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting Wendy will surely miss her. She leaves behind a young family. I send out my deepest condolences to the many people who loved her.
Hello from the beautiful capital of Queensland! I just finished my first panel of the Brisbane Writers Festival — “We Need to Talk About America” with the articulate David Vann and John de Graaf. After great questions from chair Libby Burke and a lively discussion, we darted downstairs to meet readers and sign copies of our books. Up next for me at the festival: “A Little Bit of Magic” with Joanne Harris, Kate Forsyth and Katherine Lyall-Watson, and “Bookselling’s Bright Future” with Fiona Stager, Janet Kieseker, and Chris Flynn, who I already know from Melbourne is a fabulous discussion leader.
Somewhere along the way, I might sneak in a visit with some kangaroos and koalas, too.
Greetings from sunshiny, sparkling, awe-inspiring Sydney. Met wonderful booksellers, ate some delicious food, walked along a beautiful beach. The zoo, the aquarium, the ferry rides — all of it has been fabulous, especially because I’ve been able to share it with my family. Up next? Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. More from there.